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September 29, 2011


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4. Quite often packing my lunch ends up being just as expensive as eating out (unless I'm bringing dinner leftovers). Additionally, I'm ok with spending a couple extra bucks to eat out in return for the time I save from not having to pack a lunch every day.
5. Agree with you - this seems like a stretch.

I might also add the cost of having to take time off (losing work hours) to take care of things like doctor appointments. This cost would vary depending on company policies.

Food goes up not only because of lunch, but because of the lack of time to prepare foods from scratch. We ate out "a lot" when we both worked.

I'd add to the list of costs:

Time: as in time is money. Without the time to do it yourself you will find it timesaving to hire a gardener, plumber, housecleaner, etc. But then, we typically worked 50-60 hours a week.

Dry Cleaning and Laundry: All those clothes need to be cleaned, and there is no way a shirt can be laundered and ironed at home for less than the $1-$2 charged at the cleaners (if you include your time at anything more than minimum wage).

But then there are the savings for working:

Heat and electric: when everyone in the house works, the thermostat can be turned way down in the winter and up in the summer. Lights and computer are off for a substantial part of the day, also. Also, not cooking at home keeps these costs down. Gas and electric went way up when I started staying home.

Water: Where I used to work had a gym, and the after workout shower was my primary shower of the day.

RE: Item #5 Charity - As the article mentions, it's not usually an official charity but OFFICE charity (Girl Scout Cookies, etc.)

I told my wife that her last place of employment was borderline Socialist. Everytime someone had a birthday, retirement, had a car accident, personal financial issue, etc., the hat was passed. When it was my wife's birthday they gave her an AMEX gift card. Why not just have everyone keep their money and wish each other well and a happy birthday? It always seemed disproportionate towards a few of the folks in the company. And then there was the weekly contributions to snacks...UGH!

My wife and I moved next door to her office 3 years ago, soon after we married. Between the savings at the cheaper (but nicer) place and the fact that we then sold her problem-plagued car and never replaced it, I calculate that we've saved at least $650 a month ever since. I guess the only directly applicable costs to the list are the commute costs - that alone saved probably $200-$250 per month (primarily in the cost of maintaining the car, not driving it).

#5 charity. The last place I worked hit us up for United Way contributions every year. HR would place a form on my desk each year, which I would promptly throw away.

#4 is an investment as well if you do it correctly.

Lunch is a great time to network with people. In fact, it is one of the best ways to network with people.

Depending on your job, the stress level can have a greater impact on your health and well being that cost you dearly with doctors visits and medications and what ever else it contributes.

But stress is realitive in that some have more than others and some are able to deal with it better than others.

That is way more costly that charities.

Commuting and child care are huge expenses. Both can be pared down only so much, going too cheap with transportation and children eventually affects your overall performance and perception at work.

My work clothes aren't any more expensive and considerably less likely to wear out than my stay-at-home clothes as my stay-at-home clothes take far more abuse. Food is a wash, I don't spend much more at work than at home. I pick my charities from home, not at work.

I fail to see how food is a cost of working. If I wasn't working, I would still have to eat (I'd still have to wear clothes too).

I suppose they could be saying that eating at work costs more than eating at home, but lunch at work can cost as much or as little as you want.

1) I lived 7 miles from work for 32 years and gas was cheap in my days. They even pumped it for you, cleaned your windshield, checked your oil, and put air in your tires if you asked them to.

2) Living costs were such that most mothers in our income group stayed home at least until their kids were out of grade school. We bought a new home in a new housing tract in 1963 and our kids were able to form groups and walk to school in a few minutes. People weren't paranoid about their kids being bothered by weirdos in our days.

3) A suit and tie were expected and I conformed though a suit lasted me several years.

4) I took a bag lunch and a thermos of soup - never went near the cafeteria.

5) There was always a "United Way" fundraiser and I did contribute a modest amount from my paycheck.

1) live 2 miles from work. NOt sure if we'd go to one car if we were retired or not.
2,3,4) I don't spend more on any of these.
5) I do contribute to the United way drive and my employer matches it and I can designate any charity I want. So its actually doubling my charity contributions.

In addition to actual car costs for #1, the fact that I work where I do has dictated where I live. If I didn't have this job I'd be free to live anywhere and I'd pick a cheaper place to live. So I'm paying more in higher housing costs to be closer to work than if I didn't work. That 5 minute commute actually costs a lot more for me than the car and gasoline.

For #5, Like John Z said, I think this can be a problem for some work places where every single person working there hits you up for money for their kids team or pet charity etc., they pass the hat for any birthday, shower, wedding, retirement, or then the boss pushes everyone to donate to his/her favorite charity etc. And of course United way drives are common. You could be considered a scumbag if you don't give money to all the outstretched hands. It could add up at some places. THis one is highly dependent on the individual workplace culture.

1. I live 5 minutes from my job.(I don't have to deal with traffic)
2. I have no kids.
3. I buy my clothes on sale, with coupons at the end of season.
4.I work nights so I have to bring my own food.
5.This is the only one that costs me, during the holidays and girl scout cookie season, my coworkers bombard me with their kids school fundrasing offers to buy cookies,cakes, gifts etc. :-)

1)Commuting costs - I pay $95/month just to park my car downtown four blocks away from my job (to park in the building is $140/month). I live in Houston and there is no subway. Bus service would take about an hour and a half each way and costs several dollars each way, so for me i'd rather drive in.

2)Childcare costs - If you are a single parent you may have no choice. This killed me for years until my daughter aged out of daycare.

I am happy to have finally found a job that doesn't require paying for a parking spot. Last two jobs were $115 and $63 per month... ugh.

I really commuted to work. For the last 18 years of my working life, I lived & worked 90 miles from home. I would go home once/twice a week to see my husband. For the first few years, my mileage was @ 7-800 miles a week, but gas was less in the late 80's, early 90's. By the time I retired, my mileage averaged 200 miles per week.

I rented a room in a private home, worked many hours at other p/t jobs. I ate out all the time. My room had no cooking facilities. But I worked where there was a very reasonable cafeteria. There was also a sandwich/drinks room in the building I worked in that was cheap, so the patients could afford to eat there.

Luckily, our kids were grown and gone from home. My husband had a good job at home - school bus driver. In this time area we were able to get out of debt and save some money and earn retirement income.

And - it took me one year to find that job. In the 50's and 60's, if I had 3 job interviews and no job, something was wrong. In 1986-7, it took me over 300 state interviews, plus many others, and just less than one year to land a job.

But I was blessed even then. I got a good job that I am getting a retirement from. Just look how hard it is now for people out of work to find jobs. I don't envy them at all.

My work doesn't cost me money; my commute is less than 5 miles and I would choose to have a car whether I have a job or not, so the car is not a factor. I have no kids so no child care. My job has no dress code so I can wear the same thing 3 days in a row and I do, often. Not because I'm frugal but because I'm lazy. We have free snacks and food here at work so I can eat breakfast and lunch here. There's free fruits too so healthy stuff. I spend $0 on lunch and breakfast. I've never been hit up and I don't donate. I keep every penny for myself; I guess I'm not charitable.

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